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ESQ/SQ80 Clav Shootout

Page 6 of 6

Upshot!  Final Thoughts




The Winners!

Clavs 4, 6, 13, 15 and 18 all scored over three points, but the highest points went to sample 6 with a score of 3.7 (as of June 2008). Lucky for you, this clav is one of the free ones, and is included in the shootout patch bank.

Lessons Learned

Kirk Slinkard’s Hacker article was an eye-opener for me. His observations are, as always, spot-on, and his sample patches (below) are right on the money.  When I loaded his patches I immediately appreciated the sense of verisimilitude that Kirk was shooting for. 

Kirk’s SQ80 patch passes the clav wave though with little modification.  But I was immediately attracted to his ESQ patch, which employs the “hidden” pulse wave feature of the E/SQ series. 

With characteristic self-deprication, Kirk writes “I wouldn't bother with the ESQ patch”, but the techniques he used in his ESQ patch got me to thinking along lines that helped me developed the “Premium Freebie” of the clav shootout bank. (more about this later...)

The Free Bank

The free bank includes all the public domain patches from the shootout (but none of the copyrighted ones). The bank includes the following patches:

Clav INT Bank 1
Clav INT Bank 2
Clav INT Bank 1

The blank spaces indicate former locations of commercial patches.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice five additional patches in the INT 3 location that were not a part of the original shootout. They are the patches from Kirk’s Hacker article, a special modification of his SQ80 patch, and finally your premium freebies, the new clav patches that I created based on what I learned in this shootout.

About the New Patches

Hacker Patch 1



Kirk Slinkard in the Transoniq Hacker

Sound designers take note--Kirk has employed a sophisticated use of the ESQ’s hidden pulse wave capability.  OSC2’s square wave modulates OSC1

Hacker Patch 2



Kirk Slinkard in the Transoniq Hacker

The purpose here was to pass the built-in clav wave with as little interference as possible. If this patch plays too quietly for you, your keyboard may not be responding to the exponential velocity setting on ENV4.  See the next patch for a modification.

Bonus 1



Kirk Slinkard (Modified by me, so if you hate it, don’t blame Kirk)

Removed SQ exponential velocity curve LV4-59x to LV4 59L.  I also added the other two oscs and detuned them by a couple cents for more harmonic overtones.

Bonus 2



Mark Wynkoop

This is my own attempt at a modern clav reproduction.  It has a lotta bite, and reminds me of a the  clav patches from the the best analogs.  Still, its only a minor improvement on Kirk’s sound from 1994.

Bonus 3



Mark Wynkoop

this is the SQ80 WOWCLV sound with the OSCS changed to be compatible with the ESQ. Although it is similar, the effect is quite different but no less valid.

Even though both of my WOW clavs are reasonable facsimiles, you may still prefer the free “winner” clavs from the shootout, or purchase some of the commercial collections that include the top commercial clavs.  it won’t hurt my feelings.

Bonus 4



Mark Wynkoop

Let’s go crazy on the last patch.  This nasty ball-gag of a patch uses the hidden pulse-wave feature for a totally off the wall sound that is somewhat clav-like, but could be used in a totally diferent context, like chipmusic or driven by an arpeggiator.

The name “PWM-CLAV” is a misnomer. Although the patch uses the ESQ’s 2-OSC pulse wave feature, the pulse wave is not being modulated, in the sense that the width does not change during the duration of the note.  In true pulse wave modulation, something like an LFO or ENVELOPE would sweep though the pulse wave oscillator, changing the relationship of the peaks and valleys of the square wave.   For more info on the math behind PWM, Google the term “Mark-to-space ratio” or look up “pulse wave modulation” on Wikipedpedia.

Crazy extra sound example of this patch


Download the Patches.

ZIP file includes all freeware patches in system Exclusive bank dump format.

ZIP also includes a PDF file with all of the patches on individual patch sheets, for our SYSEX impaired friends.

I strongly encourage you to learn how to send and receive midi transfers to your equipment!  I’m certain you’ll feel the same way after typing in only one of these programs a parameter at a time!


That's it!  Thanks for taking a look at the clav shootout.  If you have ideas for other shootouts or 
comparisons, feel free to write in and ask.  
In upcoming months we will be doing electric pianos and possibly the ubiquitous 303 bass!  
So if you have any patches that you think are good representations of these sounds, please 
submit them.  
Enjoy the patches, folks!

results and details for the
final set of patches


[ListenLab] [Hacker Article] [Results 1] [Results 2] [Upshot]